Victory Over Violence: Yoga helps young students deal with trauma and grief

Victory Over Violence

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Walking into the lower level of Meachem Elementary School, a sense of peace and calmness embraces you.

Every week, Trista Phillipson of Little Yogis, teaches a group of students at the school for nearly an hour. She helps them reach a meditative and relaxing state, so they can leave the cares of the world behind.

“There’s a lot of things these kids are coming through the door with that we’ve never experienced in our lives. Some of them have shared information with me about a parent being in jail or their mom and dad not being around and sometimes they cry during yoga. I’ve cried lots of times during yoga because it’s such an emotional release for them to get that stuff out,” Phillipson said.

Phillipson teaches at daycares and schools around Central New York to teach yoga and help children channel their emotions. She also helps young students learn coping techniques for dealing with stress and anger, as well as trauma and grief.

By looking at the children during her classes, you might not see the trauma, but it doesn’t mean the invisible scars don’t exist. Many of them deal with issues attached to higher levels of social-emotional needs. Phillipson also teaches them perseverance, strength and tenacity to help them navigate through the day and through life.

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